Pumpkin-IN-Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheese 44

Since I began dabbling in the art of home-cheese-cake-crafting I have experimented with a lot of different unique flavors, but there is always one constant that I never thought to mix up…the crust.

This time around I decided to experiment with a pumpkin cheese cake for the fall season, and decided to try using a real pumpkin for the flavoring instead of the canned stuff.

Note: I’m not sure the exact type of food sorcery that goes on at the canned pumpkin factories, but real pumpkin meat tends to pack about a ninth of the flavor.

While picking through the pile of pumpkins I realized that the smaller ones were about the size of a pie… and the idea was born.

Now I wish I could tell you that the pumpkin magically transformed into a perfectly suitable pie crust and that I will never use a graham cracker crust again, but that’s simply not the case. The texture just doesn’t compare to traditional crusts unfortunately, BUT it does look awesome!


This dish is made up of three basic main items:
1) The Pumpkin “crust”
2) Activated Pecans
3) Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

1) Pumpkin Crust

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It’s important to get the perfectly shaped pumpkin for your crust, this may take a bit of hunting, the key is to get one that is flat on the bottom. Then simply cut your pumpkin so that you have a bottom piece that is a reasonable imitation of a pie crust. Scoop the seeds out of this, and scrape the inside of the pumpkin smooth with a spoon.

Now here is the secret: Once cut, scooped, and scraped. Rub the inside of the pumpkin liberally with salt and let sit upside down in the sink. This “salting” will draw out water from the skin allowing it to be less soggy after baked.

Pumpkin Cheese4

Once it has soaked for an hour or so, give it a quick rinse to get some salt off, and then wipe the inside inside with a towel. Rub the inside and outside with butter/oil and bake at 375 for 10mins. Once cooled your crust is ready to go!

2) Activated Pecans

For this I just soak pecans overnight in salt water and then the next day I put them in my food dehydrator until they are completely dry- alternatively you could use a low set oven with the door propped open. Although quite simple, I call them “prepared” because that is essentially what they are. Soaking them helps bring out the flavor and makes them easier to digest. For more info check out my page on nut and seed preparation.

3) Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

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Start with a basic cheese cake filling, like this:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 (8oz each) packs of cream cheese*
  • 1 tbs lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs

Then add in a couple scoops of canned pumpkin*, some pumpkin extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.

*Or you can get a little more hands on with the pumpkin and cream cheese aspects, like this:

For the pumpkin, I chopped up the part not being used for the crust, tossed it in butter, roasted it in the oven, and then pureed it in my food processor.

For the cream cheese, I let my yogurt -any plain yogurt will work- sit in a strainer lined with cheese cloth over a bowl in the refrigerator overnight, letting the liquid whey drain out. The next morning I tied the corners of the cheesecloth together with a rubber band and attach it to a big wooden spoon hanging this “ball” over the bowl to get more liquid out. The final Result- DIY cream cheese!
Weigh it after hanging to figure out how many oz you have and adjust recipe accordingly

Pumpkin cheese

Bring it all together…

Once the pumpkin crust has cooled beat your eggs and combine with the rest of the filling ingredients, then pour it into the crust.

Smooth over the top and place in the oven at 350 for 50-60 minutes, remove from oven, place pecans around border, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Let cool at room temp for about an hour, then move to the refrigerator overnight.

And enjoy!

thumb pumpkin


Watcha think?

To much of a die hard graham-crust lover to try this one out?

Come on people! We are at the forefront of something huge here!

We can start a fruit-crusted-pie-revolution!!!

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